With the increase in adaption of digital technologies across the country, be it individual, organizational and at the national level, there is a need for participants from law enforcement agencies (LEAs), academia and industry to collaborate and keep up with the pace of the technological advancements and crime sophistications. Expedited modernization, both at central and state level, leveraging emerging cyber technologies and building-up integrated institutional cybercrime management infrastructure is required to stop the increasing cyber security threats, states a report titled ‘Innovation led cybercrime management’ launched by EY and FICCI.
Cybercrime combatting initiatives and models have been adopted within India to help LEAs and government. Some of the technological research and cybercrime management initiatives adopted in India include Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), an e-governance project under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of Government of India; Kerala Police Cyberdome, an established Center of Excellence initiated by the state government to enhance the cyber security skill set and foster innovations; Predictive Policing, which encompasses usage of Machine Learning algorithm to predict crimes; Indian Cybercrime Coordination Center (I4C)Scheme, started by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), India, which acts as one of the apex bodies for fighting against cybercrime, among others. According to EY research, malware (20%), phishing (22%) and disruptive cyberattacks (13%) are the top three threats that organizations face. Customer information, financial information and strategic plans of organizations are the top three most valuable pieces of information coveted by cyber criminals.
Vidur Gupta, Partner – Cyber Security, EY India, says, “Today, the breadth and scope of cybercrimes is rising exponentially, damaging the digital aspirations of several industries as healthcare, e-governance, retail, manufacturing, transport and financial services, including digital payments as well as smart cities in India. To mitigate these cybercrimes, India needs to develop a strong cybercrime management ecosystem with concerted effort from LEAs, academia and industry. Only such a concerted effort can tackle the myriad cybercrime threats that we face as a society, and can thereby, provide assurance and trust to India’s economy.”
Some of the major thrust areas in cybercrime management from an Indian context include:
- Formulation of a standard cybercrime taxonomy, which is to be followed by state and central LEAs, to homogenize the cybercrime management in the nation.
- Cybercrime research and test beds to be built for investigations’ experimentation, introducing LEAs to simulated crime scenarios for effective investigation and closure of cases.
- A formal institutional framework to be built focusing on resolving challenges involving cybercrime threat intelligence sharing through collaboration between central and state police.
- Revisiting current law of the land such as the IT Act and IPC with respect to emerging use cases, crime and technology scenarios.
- Constitute a focused task force to study dark web ecosystem and present its findings to central and state functions.
- A joint India-based taskforce may be formulated where police from all the member nations jointly address international issues pertaining to cybercrimes and India can derive the benefit from it.
- Charting out next generation technological strategy to be leveraged by central and state LEA functions
- Setting up of central and state technology analytic units which would act as information technology functions for LEAs, enabling accelerated investigation and thwarting cybercrimes at national level.
- Setting up of state and central centers of excellences (CoEs) equipping LEAs with investigative capabilities and aiding in continuous capacity building.
- Setting up of cybercrime forensics laboratories in each state to address the challenge of delay in examination of case data.
- Setting up of cyber police cadre in the formal police recruitment system.
“The need of the hour is to envision a national roadmap on cybercrime management with the help of pertinent stakeholders’ consultation, and further strengthening current institutions such as Ministry of Home Affairs, National Crime Record Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation and state police functions with additional manpower and budgets. We need to also conduct a nationwide awareness campaign to enable the end citizens understand cybercrimes and sensitize them on the culture of reporting cybercrimes,” added Vidur Gupta.
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